The LAMB Devours The Oscars 2017: Best Cinematography

by Jay Cluitt · January 28, 2017 · Featured, LAMB Devours the Oscars · 1 Comment

Every day until the Oscars ceremony we’ll be highlighting a different category or movie here on the LAMB! Here’s a link to all the posts written so far:

David Brook from Blueprint: Review is here today to discuss the nominees for Best Cinematography:

I’ve always been a fan of the Oscars. I can’t say I’ve always agreed on their choices and I realise how much of a back-slapping, indie and genre movie ignoring affair it is, but nevertheless I enjoy seeing all the stars, directors and crew members I admire gathering under one roof to celebrate another year of filmmaking. I also love trying to guess the winners and putting money on it with my friends, which helps.

One category I’ve always had a keen interest in is the Cinematography award. I love watching beautifully shot films and admire the art a great deal. I work in film and video production (albeit on a much smaller scale than this) and do a fair bit of camera work, but I couldn’t dream of conjuring up images like the best Hollywood has to offer, so I’m always in awe of talented folk like those nominated here.

Below are the nominees for the 2017 Cinematography award. I’ll give my thoughts on each, although bear in mind I haven’t seen two of the nominees yet. I’ve watched the trailers at least.

Arrival – Bradford Young

Denis Villeneuve’s films always look fantastic, so I was surprised to discover that he’s worked with a range of DOP’s rather than sticking to one (although he used Roger Deakins twice). Arrival is no different in that it’s classily shot from start to finish, making good use of the strong contrasts of the deep black of the space craft and the whites of the mist and clouds prevalent in the film.

La La Land – Linus Sandgren

This Swedish DOP has previously worked on David O’Russel’s last two films, Joy and American Hustle. His work here is magnificent – highly stylised and influenced by the look of classic American and French New Wave musicals. It’s bold, colourful and looks glorious. I wouldn’t be surprised if this took home the award.

Lion – Greig Fraser

This is one of the films I haven’t seen. From the trailer it looks beautifully shot though – soft and natural – very classy. I’m not sure it looks like it’ll win though.

Moonlight – James Laxton

This is another I haven’t seen, but I’m desperate to – it’s not out in the UK yet. From the trailer it looks gorgeously shot – fluid with subtle handheld movement, good use of colour, some nicely low key night scenes and contrasting styles probably to discern different periods in the protagonist’s life. Laxton is the real newcomer here, with all the other nominees having some impressive high profile Oscar-friendly work under their belt, whereas Laxton has only worked on indie movies – a lot of genre stuff, like Tusk, Bad Milo and Yoga Hosers.

Silence – Rodrigo Prieto

Rodrigo Preito is the only nominee who’s previously been nominated (for Brokeback Mountain). He’s the eldest by a fair few years too, so is the experienced member of the bunch. His work in Silence is stunning. He does a great job of balancing the dirt and grime of this tough film with some transcendently beautiful images too, mirroring the divine aspects.

Who I think will win: La La Land

Who I want to win: To be perfectly honest, the three I’ve seen all look fantastic and the trailer for the other two look great too, so I’ll be happy with any choice. If I was really pushed I might go for La La Land though as it was a real feast for the eyes.

Films that should have also got nominated:
The Witch
The Jungle Book (largely digitally created, but it looks so beautiful it had to be on the list)
Hail Caesar!
Evolution (although this might be classed as 2015 as it showed in some countries then – though not the US)